MCHS ASL Club offers new opportunities for students

ASL Club helps students connect with the deaf community

Megan Grams, Sports Reporter

Very recently a new club that was suggested by a group of MCHS students, American Sign Language Club (ASL Club), has now started to help students connect on a deeper level with the deaf community. The ASL Club is sponsored by Susan Baldwin and Suzanne Tice. The president of ASL Club is Kaitlyn Sailor and the Vice president is Dante Morland.
The ASL club has jumped into the learning process with a positive attitude and motiviation to learn. Members have started learning the basics of ASL (the ABCs and numbers) through playing memory games. Students have began playing games, such as signing movies, to improve their abilities with ASL. When learning about the deaf community, students have learned that there is a difference between how a deaf person signs versus how someone from the ALS Assosciation would sign. The sponsors of the ASL Club have brought up eating lunches outside of school so the students could learn how to order food in ASL correctly.

“Learning ASL can help you understand the deaf community and understand the struggles they go through. It is all about connecting with the community on a deeper level and building friendships with them.” ”

— Sophomore Jillian Dombkowski

To help with the learning process guests often come in and the students break up into smaller groups to make it easier for the students to learn. The Club also has a professor from Purdue North West come in and help teach the students. There are also a few local people that are from the deaf community that come in and help with the cultural background and learning process.
The club is excited to be able to learn a new language and about the deaf community. Most of all, though, members are looking forward to communicating with those who have impaired hearing and helping those with hearing disabilities. Many of the students are looking forward to communicating with the deaf community and being able to fully understand their lifestyle.
ASL Club members agree that learning ASL is very beneficial and can always come in handy. “[ASL] can be very beneficial to students because you never know when you may run into a situation in which you may need ASL to be able to communicate with someone,” said Junior Alex Sharkey.
Many students brought up that learning ASL can also be beneficial when applying for colleges, and learning ASL helps students prepare for the jobs they are pursuing. Most of the students in the ASL Club joined because they are looking to go into a career that deals with children, teens, and adults with hearing disabilities.
Students in ASL Club agree that even if someone may not want to go into a proffession that deals with people who have hearing disabilities, ASL is still a great language to have in someone’s aresenal. No one knows when they may run into someone who has a hearing disability, knowing ASL can make sure that someone can help a person with a hearing disability.
Learning ASL can also help students who have loved ones at home that may have hearing disabilities. “If a student has anyone in their life that may have hearing diabilities learning ASL can help you communicate with them better,” said Freshman Valorie Burdick.
Some students have brought up that learning ASL can help the school in many ways. If students know ASL they can help the kids in the high school with their school work. During assemblies, having someone translate in ASL could help get students with hearing disabilities more involved. “Having students that know American Sign Language, that can sign during assemblies will help those with hearing disabilities have a better understanding on what is happening at the assemblies. MCHS has at least two students and two adults on staff that have hearing disabilities,” said Sophomore Jillian Dombkowski.
Students who have joined the American Sign Language Club look to better understand the deaf community and to build relationships with them. They hope to gain long-lasting friendships with those in the deaf community. “It is a blast getting to learn with people from the deaf community and learning ASL is really eye opening,” said

“Learning ASL helps us students break down the barriers of communication between the deaf and hearing. I hope to make many friendships within the deaf community.” ”

— Sophomore Kaitlyn Sailor

ASL Club offers a variety of new opportunities for the students within the club and also provides many benefits for the students later in life. Besides creating new friendships, learning ASL helps students who look to pursue a job that helps people with learning disabilities. Joining a high school club that teaches ASL helps those students prepare for their dream jobs.

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